Eventful weeks

Whew! The past few weeks have been eventful:

1. We have a new bishop in Saskatoon. Welcome, Bishop Donald Bolen! It was a great celebration on March 25 at St. Patrick in Saskatoon. A few days later we celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at the same church.

2. I presided at the Triduum celebrations at St. Anne, culminating with the Easter Vigil. The font in the church is nice and large (and heated), allowing me to go in and do full immersions for the baptisms. It was very much a thrill to be able to baptize, confirm, and give first communion to 5 people (plus baptize a child, and confirm another adult)!

3. As complicated as the ordination, Passion Sunday, Chrism Mass, and Triduum celebrations were, they have nothing on the intensity of presiding at a family wedding on April 10 in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. Congratulations, Danny and Becca!

4 & 5. I was also able to be present (and godfather) at Spencer Korvemaker’s baptism in Ottawa. (Go Riders!)

Dual channel mic preamp

Things have been busy at St. Anne’s, as usual. It’s a great parish with lots going on!

On my days off I’ve been working on my latest electronics project: a dual-channel microphone preamplifier. I built it using the SC-1mk2 kit from www.fivefishstudios.com. The cost for parts was pretty much what it would have been if I had built a similar circuit from Jensen Transformers and ordered the parts from regular electronic sources like mouser.com and digikey.ca, but with a very important bonus: printed circuit boards! Printed circuit boards are orders of magnitude easier to work with than the perf boards I used for my mics, where I hand-wired everything.

(Well, sort of. I still managed to destroy a voltage regulator IC. Umm, it’s not a very good idea to try and adjust the heat sink while it is still attached to the IC. The chip kinda broke into two pieces. Fortunately, a replacement was found at a local store for $2.)

I have yet to use it for any recording, but it sounds great when I connect it to my monitors. It seems to have a nice, natural-sounding tone. That was my main reason for wanting to build some preamps in the first place: the preamps that are built into my Presonus Firepod are ok — they’re great value for the money, actually — but they can be a little harsh-sounding with certain instruments. The high quality amplifier chip and the Cinemag input transformer that are used in the SC-1mk2 preamps should help warm up the sound and bring out more of the depth of acoustic instruments – all the while being a lower noise device than the Presonus preamps.

I’ll post some recordings when I have a chance to make some.

Here are some photos. See the Facebook page for more.

Is This Thing On?

(The Recording page has *finally* been updated!)

Over the past few years my family has written and recorded a number of songs. I decided to take the best ones so far and put them into a little album on my iTunes playlist. I’m happy to share the tracks with you!

Note: all of these tracks are still a work in progress. They may be updated at various times.

Check Check Is This Thing On?

Track List

  • 01: Happy Sunday
  • 02: Our Song
  • 03: Mirror of Eternity
  • 04: Pirates
  • 05: Rockem Sockem Hockey
  • 06: You Are
  • 07: Millette Guitar Concerto (Updated February 12, 2010
  • 08: About a Time
  • 09: Summer Vacation
  • 10: Not Gonna Sing

  • In these tracks you can also hear the evolution of my attempts at drum recording. About a Time, Pirates, and You Are include drums recorded in a very basic way, and then augmented with samples. This involved a very tedious process of manually creating the MIDI data for each snare and bass drum hit. (Logic Pro 9 was not yet released, which has the capability of doing automated drum replacement.)

    In Mirror of Eternity I went the opposite direction, creating programmed drums and then augmenting them with some recorded hihats and cymbals.

    The drums for Rockem Sockem Hockey were recorded last summer, but before Stephen and I had properly tuned the snare drum. As a result, the quality isn’t as high as in more recent tracks. I hope to try some sample replacement on the snare drum soon.

    Our Song, Not Gonna Sing, and Millette Guitar Concerto are using recorded drums with no sample replacement. They turned out fairly well, I think! I still need to make a few adjustments (especially to MGC), but I think I’ve now got a good method for recording drums with my home made mics and the Shure SM-57 on the snare top.

    Happy Sunday and Summer Vacation are using purely programmed drums.

    What do you think? Any mixing or recording tips to pass along?

    Web page updates?!

    Umm. So this is getting to be a bit of a familiar refrain, unfortunately. I’ve been pretty busy as of late and therefore have been unable to update my web page on a regular basis.

    (If you’re reading this on Facebook and you’re wondering what I’m referring to, check here: http://www.darryldot.org.)

    Anyway, I’m finally getting around to doing some updates! I’ve changed the theme to something called Lightword. I modified it slightly, but it seems to be a generally nice and simple theme. I’ve also been doing some general updates to the other pages on here.

    In my rare free time, I have been busy with mixing some of the recordings we did last summer. I really, really need to give the Recording page a general overhaul… stay tuned for more in that department!

    In other news, congratulations to David and Roxanne! Andrew Dominic was born on January 19, 2010. Here he is, at two days old.

    Andrew Dominic Millette, two days old

    And also: congratulations Andy and Jane! Spencer was born on February 1, 2010.